Friday, September 28, 2007
Finding Your Fragrance
"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart..." Prov 27:9
I have always loved fragrance. It's my one indulgence, and my skin chemistry is very particular, and so is my nose. Over the years of sampling fragrances I've found that Chypre(sheep-ra) is what works best for me. Unfortunately Chypre, an ancient and old-fashioned scent is now used mostly in men's cologne.
Once you find a favorite fragrance, find out which scent family it belongs to, and locating other fragrances you like will be much easier. I Googled my favorite scent family of Chryre, and was able to find a few fragrances I could wear.
Here are the traditional categories of scents:
Single Floral: Fragrances that are dominated by a scent from one particular flower; in French called a soliflore. (e.g. Serge Lutens' Sa Majeste La Rose, which is dominated by rose.)
Floral Bouquet: Containing the combination of several flowers in a scent.
Ambery: A large fragrance class featuring the scents of vanilla and animal scents together with flowers and woods. Can be enhanced by camphorous oils and incense resins, which bring to mind Victorian era imagery of the Middle East and Far East.
Woody: Fragrances that are dominated by woody scents, typically of sandalwood and cedar. Patchouli, with its camphoraceous smell, is commonly found in these perfumes.
Leather: A family of fragrances which features the scents of honey, tobacco, wood and wood tars in its middle or base notes and a scent that alludes to leather.
Chypre: Meaning Cyprus in French, this includes fragrances built on a similar accord consisting of bergamot, oakmoss, patchouli, and labdanum. This family of fragrances is named after a perfume by François Coty. A notable example is Mitsouko (meaning mystery in Japanese) by Guerlain.
Fougère: Meaning Fern in French, built on a base of lavender, coumarin and oakmoss. Houbigant's Fougère Royale pioneered the use of this base. Many men's fragrances belong to this family of fragrances, which is characterized by its sharp herbaceous and woody scent.
~ Scent categories extracted from Wikipedia, read more
"How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice." Song of Solomon
Perfume.com had the least expensive price(with shipping) for both my favorite scents: Byzance(1987) and Mitsouko(1919). Shipping was fast and inexpensive. Byzance is a woody white floral, one of the very few florals I can wear successfully without it "turning" on my skin.
I found another Chypre fragrance with a Google search, Caron's Tabac Blonde(1919). Notes:
Top: Leather, Linden, Carnation
Heart: Iris, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang
Base: Cedar, Patchouli, Vanilla, Amber, Musk
It sounded divine, so I found a place, The Perfumed Court which sells sample sizes for testing. I ordered a few days ago, and received my 1.5 ml sample of Tabac Blond today. The company is owned by women who have also sold hand decanted fragrances on ebay. This is a thrifty way to sample before you buy a full sized bottle. They were quick, the item was authentic, and they are highly recommended. I'll order again if I am looking for a sample size of a scent which can not be found locally.
If you want to get a little money back, try Bigcrumbs.com. I saw a few fragrance companies listed there, and they give you cash back for ebay purchases as well. I always shop around first for the lowest price with a Google search, then for additional savings, check Bigcrumbs.com to see if they happen to have the company listed.
Sometimes you can find coupon codes for free shipping. Google the store you choose, and check for coupon codes for additional savings.
What's your favorite scent family?